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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
by Lord Byron
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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE, BY LORD BYRON.



Contents

To Ianthe Canto the First Canto the Second Canto the Third Canto the Fourth



TO IANTHE. {1}



Not in those climes where I have late been straying, Though Beauty long hath there been matchless deemed, Not in those visions to the heart displaying Forms which it sighs but to have only dreamed, Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seemed: Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek To paint those charms which varied as they beamed - To such as see thee not my words were weak; To those who gaze on thee, what language could they speak?

Ah! mayst thou ever be what now thou art, Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring, As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, Love's image upon earth without his wing, And guileless beyond Hope's imagining! And surely she who now so fondly rears Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening, Beholds the rainbow of her future years, Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears.

Young Peri of the West!—'tis well for me My years already doubly number thine; My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee, And safely view thy ripening beauties shine: Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline; Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign To those whose admiration shall succeed, But mixed with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours decreed.

Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle's, Now brightly bold or beautifully shy, Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells, Glance o'er this page, nor to my verse deny That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh, Could I to thee be ever more than friend: This much, dear maid, accord; nor question why To one so young my strain I would commend, But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend.

Such is thy name with this my verse entwined; And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrined Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last: My days once numbered, should this homage past Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre Of him who hailed thee, loveliest as thou wast, Such is the most my memory may desire; Though more than Hope can claim, could Friendship less require?



CANTO THE FIRST.



I.

Oh, thou, in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth, Muse, formed or fabled at the minstrel's will! Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth, Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred hill: Yet there I've wandered by thy vaunted rill; Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrine Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still; Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine To grace so plain a tale—this lowly lay of mine.

II.

Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth, Who ne in virtue's ways did take delight; But spent his days in riot most uncouth, And vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of Night. Ah, me! in sooth he was a shameless wight, Sore given to revel and ungodly glee; Few earthly things found favour in his sight Save concubines and carnal companie, And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.

III.

Childe Harold was he hight: —but whence his name And lineage long, it suits me not to say; Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame, And had been glorious in another day: But one sad losel soils a name for aye, However mighty in the olden time; Nor all that heralds rake from coffined clay, Nor florid prose, nor honeyed lines of rhyme, Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.

IV.

Childe Harold basked him in the noontide sun, Disporting there like any other fly, Nor deemed before his little day was done One blast might chill him into misery. But long ere scarce a third of his passed by, Worse than adversity the Childe befell; He felt the fulness of satiety: Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seemed to him more lone than eremite's sad cell.

V.

For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run, Nor made atonement when he did amiss, Had sighed to many, though he loved but one, And that loved one, alas, could ne'er be his. Ah, happy she! to 'scape from him whose kiss Had been pollution unto aught so chaste; Who soon had left her charms for vulgar bliss, And spoiled her goodly lands to gild his waste, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deigned to taste.

VI.

And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart, And from his fellow bacchanals would flee; 'Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start, But pride congealed the drop within his e'e: Apart he stalked in joyless reverie, And from his native land resolved to go, And visit scorching climes beyond the sea; With pleasure drugged, he almost longed for woe, And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.

VII.

The Childe departed from his father's hall; It was a vast and venerable pile; So old, it seemed only not to fall, Yet strength was pillared in each massy aisle. Monastic dome! condemned to uses vile! Where superstition once had made her den, Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile; And monks might deem their time was come agen, If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.

VIII.

Yet ofttimes in his maddest mirthful mood, Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's brow, As if the memory of some deadly feud Or disappointed passion lurked below: But this none knew, nor haply cared to know; For his was not that open, artless soul That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow; Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not control.

IX.

And none did love him: though to hall and bower He gathered revellers from far and near, He knew them flatterers of the festal hour; The heartless parasites of present cheer. Yea, none did love him—not his lemans dear - But pomp and power alone are woman's care, And where these are light Eros finds a feere; Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare, And Mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair.

X.

Childe Harold had a mother—not forgot, Though parting from that mother he did shun; A sister whom he loved, but saw her not Before his weary pilgrimage begun: If friends he had, he bade adieu to none. Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel; Ye, who have known what 'tis to dote upon A few dear objects, will in sadness feel Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.

XI.

His house, his home, his heritage, his lands, The laughing dames in whom he did delight, Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy hands, Might shake the saintship of an anchorite, And long had fed his youthful appetite; His goblets brimmed with every costly wine, And all that mote to luxury invite, Without a sigh he left to cross the brine, And traverse Paynim shores, and pass earth's central line.

XII.

The sails were filled, and fair the light winds blew As glad to waft him from his native home; And fast the white rocks faded from his view, And soon were lost in circumambient foam; And then, it may be, of his wish to roam Repented he, but in his bosom slept The silent thought, nor from his lips did come One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept, And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning kept.

XIII.

But when the sun was sinking in the sea, He seized his harp, which he at times could string, And strike, albeit with untaught melody, When deemed he no strange ear was listening: And now his fingers o'er it he did fling, And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight, While flew the vessel on her snowy wing, And fleeting shores receded from his sight, Thus to the elements he poured his last 'Good Night.'

Adieu, adieu! my native shore Fades o'er the waters blue; The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar, And shrieks the wild sea-mew. Yon sun that sets upon the sea We follow in his flight; Farewell awhile to him and thee, My Native Land—Good Night!

A few short hours, and he will rise To give the morrow birth; And I shall hail the main and skies, But not my mother earth. Deserted is my own good hall, Its hearth is desolate; Wild weeds are gathering on the wall, My dog howls at the gate.

'Come hither, hither, my little page: Why dost thou weep and wail? Or dost thou dread the billow's rage, Or tremble at the gale? But dash the tear-drop from thine eye, Our ship is swift and strong; Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly More merrily along.'

'Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, I fear not wave nor wind; Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I Am sorrowful in mind; For I have from my father gone, A mother whom I love, And have no friend, save these alone, But thee—and One above.

'My father blessed me fervently, Yet did not much complain; But sorely will my mother sigh Till I come back again.' - 'Enough, enough, my little lad! Such tears become thine eye; If I thy guileless bosom had, Mine own would not be dry.

'Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman, Why dost thou look so pale? Or dost thou dread a French foeman, Or shiver at the gale?' - 'Deem'st thou I tremble for my life? Sir Childe, I'm not so weak; But thinking on an absent wife Will blanch a faithful cheek.

'My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall, Along the bordering lake; And when they on their father call, What answer shall she make?' - 'Enough, enough, my yeoman good, Thy grief let none gainsay; But I, who am of lighter mood, Will laugh to flee away.'

For who would trust the seeming sighs Of wife or paramour? Fresh feeres will dry the bright blue eyes We late saw streaming o'er. For pleasures past I do not grieve, Nor perils gathering near; My greatest grief is that I leave No thing that claims a tear.

And now I'm in the world alone, Upon the wide, wide sea; But why should I for others groan, When none will sigh for me? Perchance my dog will whine in vain Till fed by stranger hands; But long ere I come back again He'd tear me where he stands.

With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go Athwart the foaming brine; Nor care what land thou bear'st me to, So not again to mine. Welcome, welcome, ye dark blue waves! And when you fail my sight, Welcome, ye deserts, and ye caves! My Native Land—Good Night!

XIV.

On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone, And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bay. Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon, New shores descried make every bosom gay; And Cintra's mountain greets them on their way, And Tagus dashing onward to the deep, His fabled golden tribute bent to pay; And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap, And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.

XV.

Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see What Heaven hath done for this delicious land! What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand! But man would mar them with an impious hand: And when the Almighty lifts his fiercest scourge 'Gainst those who most transgress his high command, With treble vengeance will his hot shafts urge Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foemen purge.

XVI.

What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold! Her image floating on that noble tide, Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold, But now whereon a thousand keels did ride Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied, And to the Lusians did her aid afford A nation swoll'n with ignorance and pride, Who lick, yet loathe, the hand that waves the sword. To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing lord.

XVII.

But whoso entereth within this town, That, sheening far, celestial seems to be, Disconsolate will wander up and down, Mid many things unsightly to strange e'e; For hut and palace show like filthily; The dingy denizens are reared in dirt; No personage of high or mean degree Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt, Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwashed, unhurt.

XVIII.

Poor, paltry slaves! yet born midst noblest scenes - Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men? Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes In variegated maze of mount and glen. Ah me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, To follow half on which the eye dilates Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken Than those whereof such things the bard relates, Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium's gates?

XIX.

The horrid crags, by toppling convent crowned, The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, The mountain moss by scorching skies imbrowned, The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, The tender azure of the unruffled deep, The orange tints that gild the greenest bough, The torrents that from cliff to valley leap, The vine on high, the willow branch below, Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.

XX.

Then slowly climb the many-winding way, And frequent turn to linger as you go, From loftier rocks new loveliness survey, And rest ye at 'Our Lady's House of Woe;' Where frugal monks their little relics show, And sundry legends to the stranger tell: Here impious men have punished been; and lo, Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell, In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a Hell.

XXI.

And here and there, as up the crags you spring, Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path; Yet deem not these devotion's offering - These are memorials frail of murderous wrath; For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath Poured forth his blood beneath the assassin's knife, Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath; And grove and glen with thousand such are rife Throughout this purple land, where law secures not life!

XXII.

On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, Are domes where whilom kings did make repair; But now the wild flowers round them only breathe: Yet ruined splendour still is lingering there. And yonder towers the prince's palace fair: There thou, too, Vathek! England's wealthiest son, Once formed thy Paradise, as not aware When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done, Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.

XXIII.

Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan. Beneath yon mountain's ever beauteous brow; But now, as if a thing unblest by man, Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou! Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow To halls deserted, portals gaping wide; Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how Vain are the pleasaunces on earth supplied; Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide.

XXIV.

Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened! Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye! With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend, A little fiend that scoffs incessantly, There sits in parchment robe arrayed, and by His side is hung a seal and sable scroll, Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry, And sundry signatures adorn the roll, Whereat the urchin points, and laughs with all his soul.

XXV.

Convention is the dwarfish demon styled That foiled the knights in Marialva's dome: Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, And turned a nation's shallow joy to gloom. Here Folly dashed to earth the victor's plume, And Policy regained what Arms had lost: For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom! Woe to the conquering, not the conquered host, Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast.

XXVI.

And ever since that martial synod met, Britannia sickens, Cintra, at thy name; And folks in office at the mention fret, And fain would blush, if blush they could, for shame. How will posterity the deed proclaim! Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer, To view these champions cheated of their fame, By foes in fight o'erthrown, yet victors here, Where Scorn her finger points through many a coming year?

XXVII.

So deemed the Childe, as o'er the mountains he Did take his way in solitary guise: Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to flee, More restless than the swallow in the skies: Though here awhile he learned to moralise, For Meditation fixed at times on him, And conscious Reason whispered to despise His early youth misspent in maddest whim; But as he gazed on Truth, his aching eyes grew dim.

XXVIII.

To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul: Again he rouses from his moping fits, But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl. Onward he flies, nor fixed as yet the goal Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage; And o'er him many changing scenes must roll, Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage, Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage.

XXIX.

Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' luckless queen; And church and court did mingle their array, And mass and revel were alternate seen; Lordlings and freres—ill-sorted fry, I ween! But here the Babylonian whore had built A dome, where flaunts she in such glorious sheen, That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to garnish guilt.

XXX.

O'er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills, (Oh that such hills upheld a free-born race!) Whereon to gaze the eye with joyaunce fills, Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant place. Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, And marvel men should quit their easy chair, The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace. Oh, there is sweetness in the mountain air And life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share.

XXXI.

More bleak to view the hills at length recede, And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend: Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed! Far as the eye discerns, withouten end, Spain's realms appear, whereon her shepherds tend Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows - Now must the pastor's arm his lambs defend: For Spain is compassed by unyielding foes, And all must shield their all, or share Subjection's woes.

XXXII.

Where Lusitania and her Sister meet, Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide? Or e'er the jealous queens of nations greet, Doth Tayo interpose his mighty tide? Or dark sierras rise in craggy pride? Or fence of art, like China's vasty wall? - Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide, Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul

XXXIII.

But these between a silver streamlet glides, And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook, Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides. Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook, And vacant on the rippling waves doth look, That peaceful still 'twixt bitterest foemen flow: For proud each peasant as the noblest duke: Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.

XXXIV.

But ere the mingling bounds have far been passed, Dark Guadiana rolls his power along In sullen billows, murmuring and vast, So noted ancient roundelays among. Whilome upon his banks did legions throng Of Moor and Knight, in mailed splendour drest; Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong; The Paynim turban and the Christian crest Mixed on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts oppressed.

XXXV.

Oh, lovely Spain! renowned, romantic land! Where is that standard which Pelagio bore, When Cava's traitor-sire first called the band That dyed thy mountain-streams with Gothic gore? Where are those bloody banners which of yore Waved o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale, And drove at last the spoilers to their shore? Red gleamed the cross, and waned the crescent pale, While Afric's echoes thrilled with Moorish matrons' wail.

XXXVI.

Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale? Ah! such, alas, the hero's amplest fate! When granite moulders and when records fail, A peasant's plaint prolongs his dubious date. Pride! bend thine eye from heaven to thine estate, See how the mighty shrink into a song! Can volume, pillar, pile, preserve thee great? Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue, When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does thee wrong?

XXXVII.

Awake, ye sons of Spain! awake! advance Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries, But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance, Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies: Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies, And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar! In every peal she calls—'Awake! arise!' Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore, When her war-song was heard on Andalusia's shore?

XXXVIII.

Hark! heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note? Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath? Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote; Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath Tyrants and tyrants' slaves?—the fires of death, The bale-fires flash on high: —from rock to rock Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe: Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc, Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock.

XXXIX.

Lo! where the Giant on the mountain stands, His blood-red tresses deepening in the sun, With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands, And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon; Restless it rolls, now fixed, and now anon Flashing afar,—and at his iron feet Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are done; For on this morn three potent nations meet, To shed before his shrine the blood he deems most sweet.

XL.

By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see (For one who hath no friend, no brother there) Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery, Their various arms that glitter in the air! What gallant war-hounds rouse them from their lair, And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey! All join the chase, but few the triumph share: The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away, And Havoc scarce for joy can cumber their array.

XLI.

Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice; Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high; Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies. The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory! The foe, the victim, and the fond ally That fights for all, but ever fights in vain, Are met—as if at home they could not die - To feed the crow on Talavera's plain, And fertilise the field that each pretends to gain.

XLII.

There shall they rot—Ambition's honoured fools! Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay! Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools, The broken tools, that tyrants cast away By myriads, when they dare to pave their way With human hearts—to what?—a dream alone. Can despots compass aught that hails their sway? Or call with truth one span of earth their own, Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?

XLIII.

O Albuera, glorious field of grief! As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim pricked his steed, Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief, A scene where mingling foes should boast and bleed. Peace to the perished! may the warrior's meed And tears of triumph their reward prolong! Till others fall where other chieftains lead, Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng, And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient song.

XLIV.

Enough of Battle's minions! let them play Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame: Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay, Though thousands fall to deck some single name. In sooth, 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim Who strike, blest hirelings! for their country's good, And die, that living might have proved her shame; Perished, perchance, in some domestic feud, Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path pursued.

XLV.

Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued: Yet is she free—the spoiler's wished-for prey! Soon, soon shall Conquest's fiery foot intrude, Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude. Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive Where Desolation plants her famished brood Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre, might yet survive, And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive.

XLVI.

But all unconscious of the coming doom, The feast, the song, the revel here abounds; Strange modes of merriment the hours consume, Nor bleed these patriots with their country's wounds; Nor here War's clarion, but Love's rebeck sounds; Here Folly still his votaries enthralls, And young-eyed Lewdness walks her midnight rounds: Girt with the silent crimes of capitals, Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tottering walls.

XLVII.

Not so the rustic: with his trembling mate He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar, Lest he should view his vineyard desolate, Blasted below the dun hot breath of war. No more beneath soft Eve's consenting star Fandango twirls his jocund castanet: Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar, Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret; The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy yet.

XLVIII.

How carols now the lusty muleteer? Of love, romance, devotion is his lay, As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer, His quick bells wildly jingling on the way? No! as he speeds, he chants 'Viva el Rey!' And checks his song to execrate Godoy, The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed boy, And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.

XLIX.

On yon long level plain, at distance crowned With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest, Wide scattered hoof-marks dint the wounded ground; And, scathed by fire, the greensward's darkened vest Tells that the foe was Andalusia's guest: Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and the host, Here the brave peasant stormed the dragon's nest; Still does he mark it with triumphant boast, And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and lost.

L.

And whomsoe'er along the path you meet Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue, Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet: Woe to the man that walks in public view Without of loyalty this token true: Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke; And sorely would the Gallic foemen rue, If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloak, Could blunt the sabre's edge, or clear the cannon's smoke.

LI.

At every turn Morena's dusky height Sustains aloft the battery's iron load; And, far as mortal eye can compass sight, The mountain-howitzer, the broken road, The bristling palisade, the fosse o'erflowed, The stationed bands, the never-vacant watch, The magazine in rocky durance stowed, The holstered steed beneath the shed of thatch, The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match,

LII.

Portend the deeds to come: —but he whose nod Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway, A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod; A little moment deigneth to delay: Soon will his legions sweep through these the way; The West must own the Scourger of the world. Ah, Spain! how sad will be thy reckoning day, When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings unfurled, And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurled.

LIII.

And must they fall—the young, the proud, the brave - To swell one bloated chief's unwholesome reign? No step between submission and a grave? The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain? And doth the Power that man adores ordain Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal? Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain? And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zeal, The veteran's skill, youth's fire, and manhood's heart of steel?

LIV.

Is it for this the Spanish maid, aroused, Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar, And, all unsexed, the anlace hath espoused, Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war? And she, whom once the semblance of a scar Appalled, an owlet's larum chilled with dread, Now views the column-scattering bayonet jar, The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake to tread.

LV.

Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale, Oh! had you known her in her softer hour, Marked her black eye that mocks her coal-black veil, Heard her light, lively tones in lady's bower, Seen her long locks that foil the painter's power, Her fairy form, with more than female grace, Scarce would you deem that Saragoza's tower Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face, Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful chase.

LVI.

Her lover sinks—she sheds no ill-timed tear; Her chief is slain—she fills his fatal post; Her fellows flee—she checks their base career; The foe retires—she heads the sallying host: Who can appease like her a lover's ghost? Who can avenge so well a leader's fall? What maid retrieve when man's flushed hope is lost? Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul, Foiled by a woman's hand, before a battered wall?

LVII.

Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons, But formed for all the witching arts of love: Though thus in arms they emulate her sons, And in the horrid phalanx dare to move, 'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove, Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate: In softness as in firmness far above Remoter females, famed for sickening prate; Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.

LVIII.

The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impressed Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch: Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest, Bid man be valiant ere he merit such: Her glance, how wildly beautiful! how much Hath Phoebus wooed in vain to spoil her cheek Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch! Who round the North for paler dames would seek? How poor their forms appear? how languid, wan, and weak!

LIX.

Match me, ye climes! which poets love to laud; Match me, ye harems! of the land where now I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud Beauties that even a cynic must avow! Match me those houris, whom ye scarce allow To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind, With Spain's dark-glancing daughters—deign to know, There your wise Prophet's paradise we find, His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.

LX.

O thou, Parnassus! whom I now survey, Not in the frenzy of a dreamer's eye, Not in the fabled landscape of a lay, But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky, In the wild pomp of mountain majesty! What marvel if I thus essay to sing? The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by Would gladly woo thine echoes with his string, Though from thy heights no more one muse will wave her wing.

LXI.

Oft have I dreamed of thee! whose glorious name Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore: And now I view thee, 'tis, alas, with shame That I in feeblest accents must adore. When I recount thy worshippers of yore I tremble, and can only bend the knee; Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar, But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy In silent joy to think at last I look on thee!

LXII.

Happier in this than mightiest bards have been, Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot, Shall I unmoved behold the hallowed scene, Which others rave of, though they know it not? Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot, And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave, Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot, Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave, And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.

LXIII.

Of thee hereafter.—Even amidst my strain I turned aside to pay my homage here; Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain; Her fate, to every free-born bosom dear; And hailed thee, not perchance without a tear. Now to my theme—but from thy holy haunt Let me some remnant, some memorial bear; Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant, Nor let thy votary's hope be deemed an idle vaunt.

LXIV.

But ne'er didst thou, fair mount, when Greece was young, See round thy giant base a brighter choir; Nor e'er did Delphi, when her priestess sung The Pythian hymn with more than mortal fire, Behold a train more fitting to inspire The song of love than Andalusia's maids, Nurst in the glowing lap of soft desire: Ah! that to these were given such peaceful shades As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glades.

LXV.

Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days, But Cadiz, rising on the distant coast, Calls forth a sweeter, though ignoble praise. Ah, Vice! how soft are thy voluptuous ways! While boyish blood is mantling, who can 'scape The fascination of thy magic gaze? A cherub-hydra round us dost thou gape, And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape.

LXVI.

When Paphos fell by Time—accursed Time! The Queen who conquers all must yield to thee - The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime; And Venus, constant to her native sea, To nought else constant, hither deigned to flee, And fixed her shrine within these walls of white; Though not to one dome circumscribeth she Her worship, but, devoted to her rite, A thousand altars rise, for ever blazing bright.

LXVII.

From morn till night, from night till startled morn Peeps blushing on the revel's laughing crew, The song is heard, the rosy garland worn; Devices quaint, and frolics ever new, Tread on each other's kibes. A long adieu He bids to sober joy that here sojourns: Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu Of true devotion monkish incense burns, And love and prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.

LXVIII.

The sabbath comes, a day of blessed rest; What hallows it upon this Christian shore? Lo! it is sacred to a solemn feast: Hark! heard you not the forest monarch's roar? Crashing the lance, he snuffs the spouting gore Of man and steed, o'erthrown beneath his horn: The thronged arena shakes with shouts for more; Yells the mad crowd o'er entrails freshly torn, Nor shrinks the female eye, nor e'en affects to mourn.

LXIX.

The seventh day this; the jubilee of man. London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer: Then thy spruce citizen, washed artizan, And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air: Thy coach of hackney, whiskey, one-horse chair, And humblest gig, through sundry suburbs whirl; To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow, make repair; Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl, Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl.

LXX.

Some o'er thy Thamis row the ribboned fair, Others along the safer turnpike fly; Some Richmond Hill ascend, some scud to Ware, And many to the steep of Highgate hie. Ask ye, Boeotian shades, the reason why? 'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn, Grasped in the holy hand of Mystery, In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn, And consecrate the oath with draught and dance till morn.

LXXI.

All have their fooleries; not alike are thine, Fair Cadiz, rising o'er the dark blue sea! Soon as the matin bell proclaimeth nine, Thy saint adorers count the rosary: Much is the Virgin teased to shrive them free (Well do I ween the only virgin there) From crimes as numerous as her beadsmen be; Then to the crowded circus forth they fare: Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion share.

LXXII.

The lists are oped, the spacious area cleared, Thousands on thousands piled are seated round; Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard, No vacant space for lated wight is found: Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound, Skilled in the ogle of a roguish eye, Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound; None through their cold disdain are doomed to die, As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archery.

LXXIII.

Hushed is the din of tongues—on gallant steeds, With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance, Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds, And lowly bending to the lists advance; Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance: If in the dangerous game they shine to-day, The crowd's loud shout, and ladies' lovely glance, Best prize of better acts, they bear away, And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay.

LXXIV.

In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed, But all afoot, the light-limbed matadore Stands in the centre, eager to invade The lord of lowing herds; but not before The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er, Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed: His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more Can man achieve without the friendly steed - Alas! too oft condemned for him to bear and bleed.

LXXV.

Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls, The den expands, and expectation mute Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls. Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute, And wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot, The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe: Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit His first attack, wide waving to and fro His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.

LXXVI.

Sudden he stops; his eye is fixed: away, Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear; Now is thy time to perish, or display The skill that yet may check his mad career. With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer; On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes; Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear: He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes: Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak his woes.

LXXVII.

Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail, Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse; Though man and man's avenging arms assail, Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force. One gallant steed is stretched a mangled corse; Another, hideous sight! unseamed appears, His gory chest unveils life's panting source; Though death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears; Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharmed he bears.

LXXVIII.

Foiled, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last, Full in the centre stands the bull at bay, Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast, And foes disabled in the brutal fray: And now the matadores around him play, Shake the red cloak, and poise the ready brand: Once more through all he bursts his thundering way - Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand, Wraps his fierce eye—'tis past—he sinks upon the sand.

LXXIX.

Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine, Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies. He stops—he starts—disdaining to decline: Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries, Without a groan, without a struggle dies. The decorated car appears on high: The corse is piled—sweet sight for vulgar eyes; Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy, Hurl the dark bull along, scarce seen in dashing by.

LXXX.

Such the ungentle sport that oft invites The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain: Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights In vengeance, gloating on another's pain. What private feuds the troubled village stain! Though now one phalanxed host should meet the foe, Enough, alas, in humble homes remain, To meditate 'gainst friends the secret blow, For some slight cause of wrath, whence life's warm stream must flow.

LXXXI.

But Jealousy has fled: his bars, his bolts, His withered sentinel, duenna sage! And all whereat the generous soul revolts, Which the stern dotard deemed he could encage, Have passed to darkness with the vanished age. Who late so free as Spanish girls were seen (Ere War uprose in his volcanic rage), With braided tresses bounding o'er the green, While on the gay dance shone Night's lover-loving Queen?

LXXXII.

Oh! many a time and oft had Harold loved, Or dreamed he loved, since rapture is a dream; But now his wayward bosom was unmoved, For not yet had he drunk of Lethe's stream: And lately had he learned with truth to deem Love has no gift so grateful as his wings: How fair, how young, how soft soe'er he seem, Full from the fount of joy's delicious springs Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings.

LXXXIII.

Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind, Though now it moved him as it moves the wise; Not that Philosophy on such a mind E'er deigned to bend her chastely-awful eyes: But Passion raves itself to rest, or flies; And Vice, that digs her own voluptuous tomb, Had buried long his hopes, no more to rise: Pleasure's palled victim! life-abhorring gloom Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's unresting doom.

LXXXIV.

Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng; But viewed them not with misanthropic hate; Fain would he now have joined the dance, the song, But who may smile that sinks beneath his fate? Nought that he saw his sadness could abate: Yet once he struggled 'gainst the demon's sway, And as in Beauty's bower he pensive sate, Poured forth this unpremeditated lay, To charms as fair as those that soothed his happier day.

TO INEZ.

Nay, smile not at my sullen brow, Alas! I cannot smile again: Yet Heaven avert that ever thou Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain.

And dost thou ask what secret woe I bear, corroding joy and youth? And wilt thou vainly seek to know A pang even thou must fail to soothe?

It is not love, it is not hate, Nor low Ambition's honours lost, That bids me loathe my present state, And fly from all I prized the most:

It is that weariness which springs From all I meet, or hear, or see: To me no pleasure Beauty brings; Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.

It is that settled, ceaseless gloom The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore, That will not look beyond the tomb, But cannot hope for rest before.

What exile from himself can flee? To zones, though more and more remote, Still, still pursues, where'er I be, The blight of life—the demon Thought.

Yet others rapt in pleasure seem, And taste of all that I forsake: Oh! may they still of transport dream, And ne'er, at least like me, awake!

Through many a clime 'tis mine to go, With many a retrospection curst; And all my solace is to know, Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.

What is that worst? Nay, do not ask - In pity from the search forbear: Smile on—nor venture to unmask Man's heart, and view the hell that's there.

LXXXV.

Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu! Who may forget how well thy walls have stood? When all were changing, thou alone wert true, First to be free, and last to be subdued. And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude, Some native blood was seen thy streets to dye, A traitor only fell beneath the feud: Here all were noble, save nobility; None hugged a conqueror's chain save fallen Chivalry!

LXXXVI.

Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her fate! They fight for freedom, who were never free; A kingless people for a nerveless state, Her vassals combat when their chieftains flee, True to the veriest slaves of Treachery; Fond of a land which gave them nought but life, Pride points the path that leads to liberty; Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife, War, war is still the cry, 'War even to the knife!'

LXXXVII.

Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know, Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife: Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe Can act, is acting there against man's life: From flashing scimitar to secret knife, War mouldeth there each weapon to his need - So may he guard the sister and the wife, So may he make each curst oppressor bleed, So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!

LXXXVIII.

Flows there a tear of pity for the dead? Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain: Look on the hands with female slaughter red; Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain, Then to the vulture let each corse remain; Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw, Let their bleached bones, and blood's unbleaching stain, Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe: Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!

LXXXIX.

Nor yet, alas, the dreadful work is done; Fresh legions pour adown the Pyrenees: It deepens still, the work is scarce begun, Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees. Fall'n nations gaze on Spain: if freed, she frees More than her fell Pizarros once enchained. Strange retribution! now Columbia's ease Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustained, While o'er the parent clime prowls Murder unrestrained.

XC.

Not all the blood at Talavera shed, Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight, Not Albuera lavish of the dead, Have won for Spain her well-asserted right. When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight? When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil? How many a doubtful day shall sink in night, Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil, And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil?

XCI.

And thou, my friend! since unavailing woe Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain - Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low, Pride might forbid e'en Friendship to complain: But thus unlaurelled to descend in vain, By all forgotten, save the lonely breast, And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain, While glory crowns so many a meaner crest! What hadst thou done, to sink so peacefully to rest?

XCII.

Oh, known the earliest, and esteemed the most! Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear! Though to my hopeless days for ever lost, In dreams deny me not to see thee here! And Morn in secret shall renew the tear Of Consciousness awaking to her woes, And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier, Till my frail frame return to whence it rose, And mourned and mourner lie united in repose.

XCIII.

Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage. Ye who of him may further seek to know, Shall find some tidings in a future page, If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe. Is this too much? Stern critic, say not so: Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld In other lands, where he was doomed to go: Lands that contain the monuments of eld, Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quelled.



CANTO THE SECOND.



I.

Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven!—but thou, alas, Didst never yet one mortal song inspire - Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was, And is, despite of war and wasting fire, And years, that bade thy worship to expire: But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow, Is the drear sceptre and dominion dire Of men who never felt the sacred glow That thoughts of thee and thine on polished breasts bestow.

II.

Ancient of days! august Athena! where, Where are thy men of might, thy grand in soul? Gone—glimmering through the dream of things that were: First in the race that led to Glory's goal, They won, and passed away—is this the whole? A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour! The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower, Dim with the mist of years, grey flits the shade of power.

III.

Son of the morning, rise! approach you here! Come—but molest not yon defenceless urn! Look on this spot—a nation's sepulchre! Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn. E'en gods must yield—religions take their turn: 'Twas Jove's—'tis Mahomet's; and other creeds Will rise with other years, till man shall learn Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds; Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on reeds.

IV.

Bound to the earth, he lifts his eyes to heaven - Is't not enough, unhappy thing, to know Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given, That being, thou wouldst be again, and go, Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so On earth no more, but mingled with the skies! Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe? Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies: That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.

V.

Or burst the vanished hero's lofty mound; Far on the solitary shore he sleeps; He fell, and falling nations mourned around; But now not one of saddening thousands weeps, Nor warlike worshipper his vigil keeps Where demi-gods appeared, as records tell. Remove yon skull from out the scattered heaps: Is that a temple where a God may dwell? Why, e'en the worm at last disdains her shattered cell!

VI.

Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall, Its chambers desolate, and portals foul: Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall, The dome of Thought, the Palace of the Soul. Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit, And Passion's host, that never brooked control: Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ, People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

VII.

Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son! 'All that we know is, nothing can be known.' Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun? Each hath its pang, but feeble sufferers groan With brain-born dreams of evil all their own. Pursue what chance or fate proclaimeth best; Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron: There no forced banquet claims the sated guest, But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.

VIII.

Yet if, as holiest men have deemed, there be A land of souls beyond that sable shore, To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore; How sweet it were in concert to adore With those who made our mortal labours light! To hear each voice we feared to hear no more! Behold each mighty shade revealed to sight, The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the right!

IX.

There, thou!—whose love and life together fled, Have left me here to love and live in vain - Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead, When busy memory flashes on my brain? Well—I will dream that we may meet again, And woo the vision to my vacant breast: If aught of young Remembrance then remain, Be as it may Futurity's behest, For me 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest!

X.

Here let me sit upon this mossy stone, The marble column's yet unshaken base! Here, son of Saturn, was thy favourite throne! Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place. It may not be: nor even can Fancy's eye Restore what time hath laboured to deface. Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh; Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.

XI.

But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane On high, where Pallas lingered, loth to flee The latest relic of her ancient reign - The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he? Blush, Caledonia! such thy son could be! England! I joy no child he was of thine: Thy free-born men should spare what once was free; Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, And bear these altars o'er the long reluctant brine.

XII.

But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared: Cold as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared, Aught to displace Athena's poor remains: Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard, Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains, And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.

XIII.

What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue Albion was happy in Athena's tears? Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung, Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears; The ocean queen, the free Britannia, bears The last poor plunder from a bleeding land: Yes, she, whose generous aid her name endears, Tore down those remnants with a harpy's hand. Which envious eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.

XIV.

Where was thine aegis, Pallas, that appalled Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? Where Peleus' son? whom Hell in vain enthralled, His shade from Hades upon that dread day Bursting to light in terrible array! What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more, To scare a second robber from his prey? Idly he wandered on the Stygian shore, Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield before.

XV.

Cold is the heart, fair Greece, that looks on thee, Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they loved; Dull is the eye that will not weep to see Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed By British hands, which it had best behoved To guard those relics ne'er to be restored. Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved, And once again thy hapless bosom gored, And snatched thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!

XVI.

But where is Harold? shall I then forget To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave? Little recked he of all that men regret; No loved one now in feigned lament could rave; No friend the parting hand extended gave, Ere the cold stranger passed to other climes. Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave; But Harold felt not as in other times, And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes.

XVII.

He that has sailed upon the dark blue sea, Has viewed at times, I ween, a full fair sight; When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be, The white sails set, the gallant frigate tight, Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right, The glorious main expanding o'er the bow, The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight, The dullest sailer wearing bravely now, So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.

XVIII.

And oh, the little warlike world within! The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, The hoarse command, the busy humming din, When, at a word, the tops are manned on high: Hark to the boatswain's call, the cheering cry, While through the seaman's hand the tackle glides Or schoolboy midshipman that, standing by, Strains his shrill pipe, as good or ill betides, And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.

XIX.

White is the glassy deck, without a stain, Where on the watch the staid lieutenant walks: Look on that part which sacred doth remain For the lone chieftain, who majestic stalks, Silent and feared by all: not oft he talks With aught beneath him, if he would preserve That strict restraint, which broken, ever baulks Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve From law, however stern, which tends their strength to nerve.

XX.

Blow, swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale, Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray; Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail, That lagging barks may make their lazy way. Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay, To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze! What leagues are lost before the dawn of day, Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas, The flapping sails hauled down to halt for logs like these!

XXI.

The moon is up; by Heaven, a lovely eve! Long streams of light o'er dancing waves expand! Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe: Such be our fate when we return to land! Meantime some rude Arion's restless hand Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love: A circle there of merry listeners stand, Or to some well-known measure featly move, Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to rove.

XXII.

Through Calpe's straits survey the steepy shore; Europe and Afric, on each other gaze! Lands of the dark-eyed maid and dusky Moor, Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate's blaze: How softly on the Spanish shore she plays, Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown, Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase: But Mauritania's giant-shadows frown, From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre down.

XXIII.

'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel We once have loved, though love is at an end: The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal, Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend. Who with the weight of years would wish to bend, When Youth itself survives young Love and Joy? Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend, Death hath but little left him to destroy! Ah, happy years! once more who would not be a boy?

XXIV.

Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side, To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere, The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride, And flies unconscious o'er each backward year. None are so desolate but something dear, Dearer than self, possesses or possessed A thought, and claims the homage of a tear; A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.

XXV.

To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, To slowly trace the forest's shady scene, Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean: This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.

XXVI.

But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess, And roam along, the world's tired denizen, With none who bless us, none whom we can bless; Minions of splendour shrinking from distress! None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less Of all that flattered, followed, sought, and sued: This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

XXVII.

More blest the life of godly eremite, Such as on lonely Athos may be seen, Watching at eve upon the giant height, Which looks o'er waves so blue, skies so serene, That he who there at such an hour hath been, Will wistful linger on that hallowed spot; Then slowly tear him from the witching scene, Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot, Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot.

XXVIII.

Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind; Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack, And each well-known caprice of wave and wind; Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find, Cooped in their winged sea-girt citadel; The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, As breezes rise and fall, and billows swell, Till on some jocund morn—lo, land! and all is well.

XXIX.

But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, The sister tenants of the middle deep; There for the weary still a haven smiles, Though the fair goddess long has ceased to weep, And o'er her cliffs a fruitless watch to keep For him who dared prefer a mortal bride: Here, too, his boy essayed the dreadful leap Stern Mentor urged from high to yonder tide; While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly sighed.

XXX.

Her reign is past, her gentle glories gone: But trust not this; too easy youth, beware! A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne, And thou mayst find a new Calypso there. Sweet Florence! could another ever share This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine: But checked by every tie, I may not dare To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine, Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine.

XXXI.

Thus Harold deemed, as on that lady's eye He looked, and met its beam without a thought, Save Admiration glancing harmless by: Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote, Who knew his votary often lost and caught, But knew him as his worshipper no more, And ne'er again the boy his bosom sought: Since now he vainly urged him to adore, Well deemed the little god his ancient sway was o'er.

XXXII.

Fair Florence found, in sooth with some amaze, One who, 'twas said, still sighed to all he saw, Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze, Which others hailed with real or mimic awe, Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their law: All that gay Beauty from her bondsmen claims: And much she marvelled that a youth so raw Nor felt, nor feigned at least, the oft-told flames, Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger dames.

XXXIII.

Little knew she that seeming marble heart, Now masked by silence or withheld by pride, Was not unskilful in the spoiler's art, And spread its snares licentious far and wide; Nor from the base pursuit had turned aside, As long as aught was worthy to pursue: But Harold on such arts no more relied; And had he doted on those eyes so blue, Yet never would he join the lover's whining crew.

XXXIV.

Not much he kens, I ween, of woman's breast, Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs; What careth she for hearts when once possessed? Do proper homage to thine idol's eyes, But not too humbly, or she will despise Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes; Disguise e'en tenderness, if thou art wise; Brisk Confidence still best with woman copes; Pique her and soothe in turn, soon Passion crowns thy hopes.

XXXV.

'Tis an old lesson: Time approves it true, And those who know it best deplore it most; When all is won that all desire to woo, The paltry prize is hardly worth the cost: Youth wasted, minds degraded, honour lost, These are thy fruits, successful Passion! these! If, kindly cruel, early hope is crossed, Still to the last it rankles, a disease, Not to be cured when Love itself forgets to please.

XXXVI.

Away! nor let me loiter in my song, For we have many a mountain path to tread, And many a varied shore to sail along, By pensive Sadness, not by Fiction, led - Climes, fair withal as ever mortal head Imagined in its little schemes of thought; Or e'er in new Utopias were read: To teach man what he might be, or he ought; If that corrupted thing could ever such be taught.

XXXVII.

Dear Nature is the kindest mother still; Though always changing, in her aspect mild: From her bare bosom let me take my fill, Her never-weaned, though not her favoured child. Oh! she is fairest in her features wild, Where nothing polished dares pollute her path: To me by day or night she ever smiled, Though I have marked her when none other hath, And sought her more and more, and loved her best in wrath.

XXXVIII.

Land of Albania! where Iskander rose; Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise, And he his namesake, whose oft-baffled foes, Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprise: Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men! The cross descends, thy minarets arise, And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen, Through many a cypress grove within each city's ken.

XXXIX.

Childe Harold sailed, and passed the barren spot Where sad Penelope o'erlooked the wave; And onward viewed the mount, not yet forgot, The lover's refuge, and the Lesbian's grave. Dark Sappho! could not verse immortal save That breast imbued with such immortal fire? Could she not live who life eternal gave? If life eternal may await the lyre, That only Heaven to which Earth's children may aspire.

XL.

'Twas on a Grecian autumn's gentle eve, Childe Harold hailed Leucadia's cape afar; A spot he longed to see, nor cared to leave: Oft did he mark the scenes of vanished war, Actium, Lepanto, fatal Trafalgar: Mark them unmoved, for he would not delight (Born beneath some remote inglorious star) In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight, But loathed the bravo's trade, and laughed at martial wight.

XLI.

But when he saw the evening star above Leucadia's far-projecting rock of woe, And hailed the last resort of fruitless love, He felt, or deemed he felt, no common glow: And as the stately vessel glided slow Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount, He watched the billows' melancholy flow, And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont, More placid seemed his eye, and smooth his pallid front.

XLII.

Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania's hills, Dark Suli's rocks, and Pindus' inland peak, Robed half in mist, bedewed with snowy rills, Arrayed in many a dun and purple streak, Arise; and, as the clouds along them break, Disclose the dwelling of the mountaineer; Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak, Birds, beasts of prey, and wilder men appear, And gathering storms around convulse the closing year.

XLIII.

Now Harold felt himself at length alone, And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu: Now he adventured on a shore unknown, Which all admire, but many dread to view: His breast was armed 'gainst fate, his wants were few: Peril he sought not, but ne'er shrank to meet: The scene was savage, but the scene was new; This made the ceaseless toil of travel sweet, Beat back keen winter's blast; and welcomed summer's heat.

XLIV.

Here the red cross, for still the cross is here, Though sadly scoffed at by the circumcised, Forgets that pride to pampered priesthood dear; Churchman and votary alike despised. Foul Superstition! howsoe'er disguised, Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross, For whatsoever symbol thou art prized, Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss! Who from true worship's gold can separate thy dross.

XLV.

Ambracia's gulf behold, where once was lost A world for woman, lovely, harmless thing! In yonder rippling bay, their naval host Did many a Roman chief and Asian king To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter, bring Look where the second Caesar's trophies rose, Now, like the hands that reared them, withering; Imperial anarchs, doubling human woes! God! was thy globe ordained for such to win and lose?

XLVI.

From the dark barriers of that rugged clime, E'en to the centre of Illyria's vales, Childe Harold passed o'er many a mount sublime, Through lands scarce noticed in historic tales: Yet in famed Attica such lovely dales Are rarely seen; nor can fair Tempe boast A charm they know not; loved Parnassus fails, Though classic ground, and consecrated most, To match some spots that lurk within this lowering coast.

XLVII.

He passed bleak Pindus, Acherusia's lake, And left the primal city of the land, And onwards did his further journey take To greet Albania's chief, whose dread command Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand He sways a nation, turbulent and bold: Yet here and there some daring mountain-band Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold Hurl their defiance far, nor yield, unless to gold.

XLVIII.

Monastic Zitza! from thy shady brow, Thou small, but favoured spot of holy ground! Where'er we gaze, around, above, below, What rainbow tints, what magic charms are found! Rock, river, forest, mountain all abound, And bluest skies that harmonise the whole: Beneath, the distant torrent's rushing sound Tells where the volumed cataract doth roll Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please the soul.

XLIX.

Amidst the grove that crowns yon tufted hill, Which, were it not for many a mountain nigh Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still, Might well itself be deemed of dignity, The convent's white walls glisten fair on high; Here dwells the caloyer, nor rude is he, Nor niggard of his cheer: the passer-by Is welcome still; nor heedless will he flee From hence, if he delight kind Nature's sheen to see.

L.

Here in the sultriest season let him rest, Fresh is the green beneath those aged trees; Here winds of gentlest wing will fan his breast, From heaven itself he may inhale the breeze: The plain is far beneath—oh! let him seize Pure pleasure while he can; the scorching ray Here pierceth not, impregnate with disease: Then let his length the loitering pilgrim lay, And gaze, untired, the morn, the noon, the eve away.

LI.

Dusky and huge, enlarging on the sight, Nature's volcanic amphitheatre, Chimera's alps extend from left to right: Beneath, a living valley seems to stir; Flocks play, trees wave, streams flow, the mountain fir Nodding above; behold black Acheron! Once consecrated to the sepulchre. Pluto! if this be hell I look upon, Close shamed Elysium's gates, my shade shall seek for none.

LII.

No city's towers pollute the lovely view; Unseen is Yanina, though not remote, Veiled by the screen of hills: here men are few, Scanty the hamlet, rare the lonely cot; But, peering down each precipice, the goat Browseth: and, pensive o'er his scattered flock, The little shepherd in his white capote Doth lean his boyish form along the rock, Or in his cave awaits the tempest's short-lived shock.

LIII.

Oh! where, Dodona, is thine aged grove, Prophetic fount, and oracle divine? What valley echoed the response of Jove? What trace remaineth of the Thunderer's shrine? All, all forgotten—and shall man repine That his frail bonds to fleeting life are broke? Cease, fool! the fate of gods may well be thine: Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak, When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink beneath the stroke?

LIV.

Epirus' bounds recede, and mountains fail; Tired of up-gazing still, the wearied eye Reposes gladly on as smooth a vale As ever Spring yclad in grassy dye: E'en on a plain no humble beauties lie, Where some bold river breaks the long expanse, And woods along the banks are waving high, Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance, Or with the moonbeam sleep in Midnight's solemn trance.

LV.

The sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit, The Laos wide and fierce came roaring by; The shades of wonted night were gathering yet, When, down the steep banks winding wearily Childe Harold saw, like meteors in the sky, The glittering minarets of Tepalen, Whose walls o'erlook the stream; and drawing nigh, He heard the busy hum of warrior-men Swelling the breeze that sighed along the lengthening glen.

LVI.

He passed the sacred harem's silent tower, And underneath the wide o'erarching gate Surveyed the dwelling of this chief of power Where all around proclaimed his high estate. Amidst no common pomp the despot sate, While busy preparation shook the court; Slaves, eunuchs, soldiers, guests, and santons wait; Within, a palace, and without a fort, Here men of every clime appear to make resort.

LVII.

Richly caparisoned, a ready row Of armed horse, and many a warlike store, Circled the wide-extending court below; Above, strange groups adorned the corridor; And ofttimes through the area's echoing door, Some high-capped Tartar spurred his steed away; The Turk, the Greek, the Albanian, and the Moor, Here mingled in their many-hued array, While the deep war-drum's sound announced the close of day.

LVIII.

The wild Albanian kirtled to his knee, With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun, And gold-embroidered garments, fair to see: The crimson-scarfed men of Macedon; The Delhi with his cap of terror on, And crooked glaive; the lively, supple Greek; And swarthy Nubia's mutilated son; The bearded Turk, that rarely deigns to speak, Master of all around, too potent to be meek,

LIX.

Are mixed conspicuous: some recline in groups, Scanning the motley scene that varies round; There some grave Moslem to devotion stoops, And some that smoke, and some that play are found; Here the Albanian proudly treads the ground; Half-whispering there the Greek is heard to prate; Hark! from the mosque the nightly solemn sound, The muezzin's call doth shake the minaret, 'There is no god but God!—to prayer—lo! God is great!'

LX.

Just at this season Ramazani's fast Through the long day its penance did maintain. But when the lingering twilight hour was past, Revel and feast assumed the rule again: Now all was bustle, and the menial train Prepared and spread the plenteous board within; The vacant gallery now seemed made in vain, But from the chambers came the mingling din, As page and slave anon were passing out and in.

LXI.

Here woman's voice is never heard: apart And scarce permitted, guarded, veiled, to move, She yields to one her person and her heart, Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to rove; For, not unhappy in her master's love, And joyful in a mother's gentlest cares, Blest cares! all other feelings far above! Herself more sweetly rears the babe she bears, Who never quits the breast, no meaner passion shares.

LXII.

In marble-paved pavilion, where a spring Of living water from the centre rose, Whose bubbling did a genial freshness fling, And soft voluptuous couches breathed repose, Ali reclined, a man of war and woes: Yet in his lineaments ye cannot trace, While Gentleness her milder radiance throws Along that aged venerable face, The deeds that lurk beneath, and stain him with disgrace.

LXIII.

It is not that yon hoary lengthening beard Ill suits the passions which belong to youth: Love conquers age—so Hafiz hath averred, So sings the Teian, and he sings in sooth - But crimes that scorn the tender voice of ruth, Beseeming all men ill, but most the man In years, have marked him with a tiger's tooth: Blood follows blood, and through their mortal span, In bloodier acts conclude those who with blood began.

LXIV.

Mid many things most new to ear and eye, The pilgrim rested here his weary feet, And gazed around on Moslem luxury, Till quickly wearied with that spacious seat Of Wealth and Wantonness, the choice retreat Of sated Grandeur from the city's noise: And were it humbler, it in sooth were sweet; But Peace abhorreth artificial joys, And Pleasure, leagued with Pomp, the zest of both destroys.

LXV.

Fierce are Albania's children, yet they lack Not virtues, were those virtues more mature. Where is the foe that ever saw their back? Who can so well the toil of war endure? Their native fastnesses not more secure Than they in doubtful time of troublous need: Their wrath how deadly! but their friendship sure, When Gratitude or Valour bids them bleed, Unshaken rushing on where'er their chief may lead.

LXVI.

Childe Harold saw them in their chieftain's tower, Thronging to war in splendour and success; And after viewed them, when, within their power, Himself awhile the victim of distress; That saddening hour when bad men hotlier press: But these did shelter him beneath their roof, When less barbarians would have cheered him less, And fellow-countrymen have stood aloof - In aught that tries the heart how few withstand the proof!

LXVII.

It chanced that adverse winds once drove his bark Full on the coast of Suli's shaggy shore, When all around was desolate and dark; To land was perilous, to sojourn more; Yet for awhile the mariners forbore, Dubious to trust where treachery might lurk: At length they ventured forth, though doubting sore That those who loathe alike the Frank and Turk Might once again renew their ancient butcher-work.

LXVIII.

Vain fear! the Suliotes stretched the welcome hand, Led them o'er rocks and past the dangerous swamp, Kinder than polished slaves, though not so bland, And piled the hearth, and wrung their garments damp, And filled the bowl, and trimmed the cheerful lamp, And spread their fare: though homely, all they had: Such conduct bears Philanthropy's rare stamp - To rest the weary and to soothe the sad, Doth lesson happier men, and shames at least the bad.

LXIX.

It came to pass, that when he did address Himself to quit at length this mountain land, Combined marauders half-way barred egress, And wasted far and near with glaive and brand; And therefore did he take a trusty band To traverse Acarnania forest wide, In war well-seasoned, and with labours tanned, Till he did greet white Achelous' tide, And from his farther bank AEtolia's wolds espied.

LXX.

Where lone Utraikey forms its circling cove, And weary waves retire to gleam at rest, How brown the foliage of the green hill's grove, Nodding at midnight o'er the calm bay's breast, As winds come whispering lightly from the west, Kissing, not ruffling, the blue deep's serene: Here Harold was received a welcome guest; Nor did he pass unmoved the gentle scene, For many a joy could he from night's soft presence glean.

LXXI.

On the smooth shore the night-fires brightly blazed, The feast was done, the red wine circling fast, And he that unawares had there ygazed With gaping wonderment had stared aghast; For ere night's midmost, stillest hour was past, The native revels of the troop began; Each palikar his sabre from him cast, And bounding hand in hand, man linked to man, Yelling their uncouth dirge, long danced the kirtled clan.

LXXII.

Childe Harold at a little distance stood, And viewed, but not displeased, the revelrie, Nor hated harmless mirth, however rude: In sooth, it was no vulgar sight to see Their barbarous, yet their not indecent, glee: And as the flames along their faces gleamed, Their gestures nimble, dark eyes flashing free, The long wild locks that to their girdles streamed, While thus in concert they this lay half sang, half screamed:

Tambourgi! Tambourgi! thy larum afar Gives hope to the valiant, and promise of war; All the sons of the mountains arise at the note, Chimariot, Illyrian, and dark Suliote!

Oh! who is more brave than a dark Suliote, To his snowy camese and his shaggy capote? To the wolf and the vulture he leaves his wild flock, And descends to the plain like the stream from the rock.

Shall the sons of Chimari, who never forgive The fault of a friend, bid an enemy live? Let those guns so unerring such vengeance forego? What mark is so fair as the breast of a foe?

Macedonia sends forth her invincible race; For a time they abandon the cave and the chase: But those scarves of blood-red shall be redder, before The sabre is sheathed and the battle is o'er.

Then the pirates of Parga that dwell by the waves, And teach the pale Franks what it is to be slaves, Shall leave on the beach the long galley and oar, And track to his covert the captive on shore.

I ask not the pleasure that riches supply, My sabre shall win what the feeble must buy: Shall win the young bride with her long flowing hair, And many a maid from her mother shall tear.

I love the fair face of the maid in her youth; Her caresses shall lull me, her music shall soothe: Let her bring from her chamber the many-toned lyre, And sing us a song on the fall of her sire.

Remember the moment when Previsa fell, The shrieks of the conquered, the conqueror's yell; The roofs that we fired, and the plunder we shared, The wealthy we slaughtered, the lovely we spared.

I talk not of mercy, I talk not of fear; He neither must know who would serve the Vizier; Since the days of our prophet, the crescent ne'er saw A chief ever glorious like Ali Pasha.

Dark Muchtar his son to the Danube is sped, Let the yellow-haired Giaours view his horsetail with dread; When his Delhis come dashing in blood o'er the banks, How few shall escape from the Muscovite ranks!

Selictar! unsheath then our chief's scimitar: Tambourgi! thy larum gives promise of war. Ye mountains that see us descend to the shore, Shall view us as victors, or view us no more!

LXXIII.

Fair Greece! sad relic of departed worth! Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great! Who now shall lead thy scattered children forth, And long accustomed bondage uncreate? Not such thy sons who whilome did await, The hopeless warriors of a willing doom, In bleak Thermopylae's sepulchral strait - Oh, who that gallant spirit shall resume, Leap from Eurotas' banks, and call thee from the tomb?

LXXIV.

Spirit of Freedom! when on Phyle's brow Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train, Couldst thou forbode the dismal hour which now Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain? Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain, But every carle can lord it o'er thy land; Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain, Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand, From birth till death enslaved; in word, in deed, unmanned.

LXXV.

In all save form alone, how changed! and who That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye, Who would but deem their bosom burned anew With thy unquenched beam, lost Liberty! And many dream withal the hour is nigh That gives them back their fathers' heritage: For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh, Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage, Or tear their name defiled from Slavery's mournful page.

LXXVI.

Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not Who would be free themselves must strike the blow? By their right arms the conquest must be wrought? Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye? No! True, they may lay your proud despoilers low, But not for you will Freedom's altars flame. Shades of the Helots! triumph o'er your foe: Greece! change thy lords, thy state is still the same; Thy glorious day is o'er, but not thy years of shame.

LXXVII.

The city won for Allah from the Giaour, The Giaour from Othman's race again may wrest; And the Serai's impenetrable tower Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest; Or Wahab's rebel brood, who dared divest The Prophet's tomb of all its pious spoil, May wind their path of blood along the West; But ne'er will Freedom seek this fated soil, But slave succeed to slave through years of endless toil.

LXXVIII.

Yet mark their mirth—ere lenten days begin, That penance which their holy rites prepare To shrive from man his weight of mortal sin, By daily abstinence and nightly prayer; But ere his sackcloth garb Repentance wear, Some days of joyaunce are decreed to all, To take of pleasaunce each his secret share, In motley robe to dance at masking ball, And join the mimic train of merry Carnival.

LXXIX.

And whose more rife with merriment than thine, O Stamboul! once the empress of their reign? Though turbans now pollute Sophia's shrine And Greece her very altars eyes in vain: (Alas! her woes will still pervade my strain!) Gay were her minstrels once, for free her throng, All felt the common joy they now must feign; Nor oft I've seen such sight, nor heard such song, As wooed the eye, and thrilled the Bosphorus along.

LXXX.

Loud was the lightsome tumult on the shore; Oft Music changed, but never ceased her tone, And timely echoed back the measured oar, And rippling waters made a pleasant moan: The Queen of tides on high consenting shone; And when a transient breeze swept o'er the wave, 'Twas as if, darting from her heavenly throne, A brighter glance her form reflected gave, Till sparkling billows seemed to light the banks they lave.

LXXXI.

Glanced many a light caique along the foam, Danced on the shore the daughters of the land, No thought had man or maid of rest or home, While many a languid eye and thrilling hand Exchanged the look few bosoms may withstand, Or gently pressed, returned the pressure still: Oh Love! young Love! bound in thy rosy band, Let sage or cynic prattle as he will, These hours, and only these, redeemed Life's years of ill!

LXXXII.

But, midst the throng in merry masquerade, Lurk there no hearts that throb with secret pain, E'en through the closest searment half-betrayed? To such the gentle murmurs of the main Seem to re-echo all they mourn in vain; To such the gladness of the gamesome crowd Is source of wayward thought and stern disdain: How do they loathe the laughter idly loud, And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud!

LXXXIII.

This must he feel, the true-born son of Greece, If Greece one true-born patriot can boast: Not such as prate of war but skulk in peace, The bondsman's peace, who sighs for all he lost, Yet with smooth smile his tyrant can accost, And wield the slavish sickle, not the sword: Ah, Greece! they love thee least who owe thee most - Their birth, their blood, and that sublime record Of hero sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!

LXXXIV.

When riseth Lacedaemon's hardihood, When Thebes Epaminondas rears again, When Athens' children are with hearts endued, When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men, Then mayst thou be restored; but not till then. A thousand years scarce serve to form a state; An hour may lay it in the dust: and when Can man its shattered splendour renovate, Recall its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate?

LXXXV.

And yet how lovely in thine age of woe, Land of lost gods and godlike men, art thou! Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow, Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now; Thy fanes, thy temples to the surface bow, Commingling slowly with heroic earth, Broke by the share of every rustic plough: So perish monuments of mortal birth, So perish all in turn, save well-recorded worth;

LXXXVI.

Save where some solitary column mourns Above its prostrate brethren of the cave; Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave; Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave, Where the grey stones and unmolested grass Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave, While strangers only not regardless pass, Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigh 'Alas!'

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